Friday, September 02, 2011

Biscay 2011, Part 1: Cory's Shearwaters

I have just returned from a great birding and whale-watching trip on the Bay of Biscay, guided and arranged by School of Whales in association with Bird Watching Magazine. I was guiding with Ian Rowlands and Colin Williams on Brittany Ferries' Pont-Aven with a group of about 40 lovely people. It was my first trip across on this particular route (the Pride of Bilbao no longer runs across the Bay), and I have to say I was very impressed. Thanks to everyone for making it such a great trip.
We saw 7 species of cetacean, and had a fantastic seabird trip, with 6 shearwater species and plentiful Sabine's Gulls,

Highlights from the trip included:
Fin Whale, c10,
Pilot Whale, c12,
Cuvier's Beaked Whale, 2,
Striped Dolphin, c300-500,
Common Dolphin, c500-750,
Bottlenosed Dolphin, 9,
Harbour Porpoise, c20,
Great Shearwater, 500-1,000+,
Cory's Shearwater, 500-750,
Sooty Shearwater, c15,
Manx Shearwater, c50,
Balearic Shearwater, c10,
Little Shearwater, 3,
Sabine's gull, c30,
Grey Phalarope, 2,
Marsh Harrier, 1,
Turtle Dove, 3,
Sedge Warbler, 1,
Yellow Wagtail, 2

I didn't take too many decent photographs, but I did get a few Cory's and Great Shearwaters and one or two Common Dolphins. Here are the Cory's for starters...

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